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Activist cautions government on ‘fake’ promises

AN education expert Benedicto Kondowe has faulted President Peter Mutharika on what he described as continued lip service on projects and initiatives that are aimed at improving the education standards in the country.

Kondowe, who is also Executive Director of Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec), made the remarks in reaction to the yet to be fulfilled promise on introduction of education levy to support learning and infrastructure development for tertiary education.

Mutharika said his government will introduce an education levy when he presided over the University of Malawi’s (Unima) congregation in March last year.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education Lindiwe Chide said the issue is still in consultation phase.

“I am trying to remember the issue, it has not yet started that is what I know it is still in the consultation phase,” she said.

Kondowe said the need for education levy in the country is long overdue further saying Csec has been pushing to engage the Ministry of Education but their efforts have been frustrated.

“Many promises have been made to make education better in this country. Honestly Malawians are tired of hearing mere talk when what we see are universities being closed. Our president is a very accomplished scholar, he should know better how education aids development of a country,” Kondowe said.

Kondowe further called government to do a soul searching on the many challenges the education sector is facing in line with the many promises made since 2014.

“Government should cease to make more promises. We cannot afford to have universities perpetually closed. This means there is no vision to develop this country. Our priorities are upside down when it comes to eradicating poverty and trying to develop this country,” Kondowe said.

Kondowe further faulted Mutharika’s leadership on the progress of community colleges describing it as one of the white elephant projects Mutharika’s administration has created.

“Only 15 percent of the community colleges are functioning. This was one of the most admired projects by this government but now clearly it has become a white elephant. The president has accepted to create white elephants,” he said.

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